A Montgomery County police officer, who said he had "never been bitten by a human before," has filed a $1.5 million lawsuit in Montgomery County Circuit Court against a 19-year-old man who allegedly chomped the officer twice on the arm.

"Experience dictates you never let your guard down," Officer Thomas A. Hosinski said. "But he caught me off guard with the bite."

The Bethesda-based officer is charging that James G. Jacobwitz bit him in the arm during a scuffle outside a Rockville restaurant last April.

Jacobwitz, however, has filed a $150,000 countersuit against the officer, claiming he was "assulted and beaten without justification or excuse," according to court papers.

He is currently serving an 18-month sentence in Montgomery County's Detention Center for burglary and disorderly conduct.

The incident took place on a warm spring night April 26 in the parking lot of the Colonial Manor Motel at 11410 Rockville Pike.

According to court papers, Hosinski, a nine-year veteran of the force, was patrolling in his cruiser when he saw an altercation in the motel parking lot between Jacobwitz and another man.When Hosinski went to break it up he was "spit upon" and "shoved" by Jacobwitz, according to court papers.

"When I went to arrest him," Hosinski said in an interview, "I got behind him and he sank his teeth into my left arm. I screamed. I've never been bitten by a human before."

But Jacobwitz's attorney, Paul McCormick, says the officer was assaulting his client and that the young man was "trying to defend himself. He was down to his last resort."

Before he was finally arrested, Jacobwitz bit Hosinski again on the right wrist. But that bite was "just a nip," according to the police officer. r

Jacobwitz was booked on charges of disturbing the peace and assault. Hosinski went to Suburban Hospital for a tetanus shot and to have his wound cleaned and bandaged.

Although the police officer is back on the job, court papers charge that as a result of his injuries Hosinski has suffered "nervous shock . . . anxiety . . . and will be unable to pursue his occupation as well as his normal activities."

"I still got the scar," he said.